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Falkland Islands

Group of islands in the South Atlantic / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Falkland Islands (/ˈfɔː(l)klənd, ˈfɒlk-/;[5] Spanish: Islas Malvinas [ˈizlaz malˈβinas]) is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 mi (480 km) east of South America's southern Patagonian coast and about 752 mi (1,210 km) from Cape Dubouzet at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 sq mi (12,000 km2), comprises East Falkland, West Falkland, and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, but the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The capital and largest settlement is Stanley on East Falkland.

Quick facts: Falkland Islands, Sovereign state, First sett...
Falkland Islands
Anthem: "God Save the King"
Unofficial anthem: "Song of the Falklands"
Location of the Falkland Islands
Location of the Falkland Islands
Sovereign stateFlag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
First settlement1764
British rule reasserted3 January 1833
Falklands War2 April to
14 June 1982
Current constitution1 January 2009
and largest settlement
51°41′43″S 57°50′58″W
Official languagesEnglish
Demonym(s)Falkland Islander, Falklander
GovernmentDevolved parliamentary dependency under a constitutional monarchy
Charles III
Alison Blake
Andy Keeling
LegislatureLegislative Assembly
Government of the United Kingdom
Zac Goldsmith
12,173 km2 (4,700 sq mi)
 Water (%)
Highest elevation
705 m (2,313 ft)
 2021 census
3,662[1] (not ranked)
0.30/km2 (0.8/sq mi) (not ranked)
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
$228.5 million[2]
 Per capita
$96,962 (4th)
Gini (2015)Negative increase 36.0[3]
HDI (2010)0.874[4]
very high · 20th
CurrencyFalkland Islands pound (£) (FKP)
Time zoneUTC– 03:00 (FKST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideleft
Calling code+500
UK postcode
ISO 3166 codeFK

Controversy exists over the Falklands' discovery and subsequent colonisation by Europeans. At various times the islands have had French, British, Spanish, and Argentine settlements. Britain reasserted its rule in 1833, but Argentina maintains its claim to the islands. In April 1982, Argentine military forces invaded the islands. British administration was restored two months later at the end of the Falklands War. In a 2013 sovereignty referendum almost all Falklanders voted in favour of remaining a UK overseas territory. The territory's sovereignty status is part of an ongoing dispute between Argentina and the UK.

The population (3,662 inhabitants in 2021)[1] is primarily native-born Falkland Islanders, the majority of British descent. Other ethnicities include French, Gibraltarians, and Scandinavians. Immigration from the United Kingdom, the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, and Chile has reversed a population decline. The predominant (and official) language is English. Under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, Falkland Islanders are British citizens.

The islands lie at the boundary of the subantarctic oceanic and tundra climate zones, and both major islands have mountain ranges reaching 2,300 ft (700 m). They are home to large bird populations, although many no longer breed on the main islands due to predation by introduced species. Major economic activities include fishing, tourism and sheep farming, with an emphasis on high-quality wool exports. Oil exploration, licensed by the Falkland Islands Government, remains controversial as a result of maritime disputes with Argentina.